Tayside and Central Scotland

Perthshire man jailed for attack on disabled woman

A 60-year-old man who carried out an attack motivated by sexual and disability prejudice on a woman with cerebral palsy has been jailed for four months.

William Mainland admitted his assault on Joanne Duncan was aggravated by prejudice against her disability.

Perth Sheriff Court heard he grabbed the 31-year-old by the throat and pushed her against a fence.

Sheriff Michael Fletcher called it a most regrettable offence.

Mainland, who walks with a stick and claims Disability Living Allowance himself, carried out the attack in the Perthshire village of Stanley on 17 July.

Fiscal depute Catherine Fraser told Perth Sheriff Court: "The complainer is 31, but she suffers from cerebral palsy and has considerable difficulty with movement and speech. She has been given a mental age of 13.

"She requires to use a tripod walking aid when she walks any distance."

Grabbed victim

The court was told that at a local shop she ran into Mainland, who shouted at her that she did not need the tripod.

Ms Fraser said: "He used his left hand and grabbed hold of her by the throat and pushed her against a garden fence.

"He shouted: 'You're a lesbian, nothing but a lesbian.'

"She became distressed. A witness heard and came out of her house. She could see the complainer was crying, highly distressed and had red marks on her neck."

Perth Sheriff Court was told that when Mainland was traced by the police he was heavily under the influence of alcohol.

Previous friction

Solicitor Rosemary Scott, defending, said Mainland accepted he had a long-standing problem with alcohol but "had no excuse for his behaviour".

She told the court there had previously been friction between Mainland's partner and Ms Duncan, but that he had little recollection of attacking her.

Mainland, from Stanley, admitted assaulting Ms Duncan on 17 July in an incident which was "aggravated by prejudice relating to disability".

He also admitted shouting and swearing and calling her a lesbian in an offence "aggravated by prejudice relating to disability and sexual orientation".

Sheriff Michael Fletcher said: "This was a most regrettable offence considering the person who was the victim of your behaviour. This is an offence which deserves a custodial sentence."

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